Focaccia is more than just a flatbread and is considered one of the culinary icons of the Ligurian cuisine. It can be found in other regions of Italy but the Ligurian variety is hard to beat. It is a very popular snack in Italy with young and old alike and is eaten any time of the day.
You can easily spot the tourists from the locals in a crowd at breakfast as the outsiders often order sweet brioche with their coffee while the natives go for focaccia.
The traditional plain kind is made with no fancy ingredients - flour, yeast, water, salt and olive oil. But nowadays you can find many variations made with chopped olives or herbs such as sage and rosemary as well as ones topped with sautéed white onions, cheese, pesto or tomato sauce. Generally though when it comes to the Ligurian variety less is more.
The ideal one must be crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside. It usually is about half an inch thick and comes in round or square- shape with an unmistakable moonscape texture the result of fingertip kneading.
The true homeland of the speciality are the seaside towns starting east of Genoa at Recco running through Santa Margherita, Rapallo, Chiavari to Sestri Levante. No one can quite pinpoint the reason for the irresistible focaccia made in this area – some say it is the microclimate , others insist is the water or the olive oil from the
eastern Ligurian Riviera but perhaps the true reason lies in the passion and skill put in by the local bakers.
It is always fun to have a go and experiment with making your own so follow these traditional Ligurian recipes:
Recipe for a traditional plain type, which is used as a base for the other variations
Focaccia di Recco - the recipe for the famous cheesy variety
A variation of the traditional one with olives on top
A variation of the traditional one from Voltri
Thank you for visiting our guide… we look forward to welcoming you to Liguria and hope you will love it as much as we do !
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